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8 Tips on Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten

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It’s only August and already I am anxious about sending my son to kindergarten for the first time.
While we may have sent him to preschool a few mornings a week last year, this is the real deal.

In order to get him ready, I have already started preparing for the middle of September when he takes those ‘big boy’ steps through the school’s front doors. If you are a new school mama like me, here are a few ideas to help your child get ready.

  1. We talk about school very positively. I don’t talk about my stresses and worries in front of him. We discuss how he’ll learn new things, play with friends and have fun.
  2. We’ve driven by the school often and pointed out that he will be going there in the September. He recognizes the building readily now.
  3. In addition, our school’s kindergarten has its own separate playground but they leave the gate open during the summer. I’ll be bringing him to the school and letting him play there.
  4. After preschool, the teacher gave me his ‘update’ so I was able to see what areas she recommended he work on. His fine motor skills like cutting and holding a marker needed some assistance, so we’ve been working on that. I’ve already seen an improvement!
  5. Yes, school will teach him his alphabet and numbers, but since he was younger I found it easy to give him that foundation myself. Learning is all around us each day, and I like being the one to start the alphabet with him. Even if your child doesn’t know all of their letters/numbers by the time they are in class, it will give them some confidence at the beginning to know some.
  6. I’m not a ‘flashcard’ parent but I do believe it’s been important to do quiet, learning activities with my son. He listens and follows instructions and I think that’s a good lesson. We’ve picked up some fun activity books to do a few pages from each day. What I especially like is when he asks to do them. Also, I love the pride he gets when answering something correctly.
  7. I am/was terrible about making him put on his own jacket or shoes. Lately, I’ve really been trying to give him the skills he needs to do that by himself. Give your child a few small independent tasks to start – washing their own hands, putting on their shirt – and it will build their confidence and skill.
  8. Lastly, tell them how proud you are of them for trying and how much you love them. Your confidence in your child will help them through the first few days (or weeks) of school. I know my son will get through it (yours will too!).

If only I had a great ‘getting ready’ list for us parents. Quite frankly, I don’t. Know this: You are not alone, and neither is your child.

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